Momma Helen's Pierogis are a must have in the Nolan household. It is all hands on deck with the whole family gathering around to roll, fill, seal and boil these hearty Polish dumplings!
Actual Momma Helen Pierogi
Why it's on our list
This dish takes “family recipe” to the next level. So much so that Nolan family members congregate in Minnesota once a year for a Pierogi Party in honor of their grandmothers beloved recipe. While Dave and Andy prefer potato or farmers cheese as the filling, Pierogis can be filled with many different things, including ground beef, spinach, mushrooms or even fruit. The secret ingredient, however, is the salt pork and sour cream topping! Ask Freckles the cat… that was the secret to his long life!
Courtney & Whitney
Momma Helen's Pierogis
5 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups warm water (not hot because it will cook the egg)
2 large eggs
3-4 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
8 oz of crumbled feta cheese
2 cups farmers cheese (Nolan's make their own but if you can't/don't want to buy it or use ricotta
Cube of salt pork, diced small (if you can't find, you can use pancetta or bacon, but salt pork really makes this dish)
Ginormous vat of sour cream from Costco Business
The Good Part
Don't forget to read the whole thing, as we often forget that part, thankfully this one is memorized.
Boil potatoes until fork tender
Sauté salt pork in a pan till crispy
Knead flour, water, and eggs for 5 minutes while salt pork is cooking
Once dough is kneaded, form into two balls, wrap each in Saran wrap and set aside to rest for 10 minutes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil
Divide each dough ball in half to make 4 total. Keep the others under a thin towel until ready to use to keep from drying out. Roll each ball into a rope roughly 1” in diameter. Cut rope into 1/2”-3/4” pieces and place under a towel until ready to roll out.
Roll out each piece into a thin disc with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface.
Add one spoonful of your choice of fillings in the center of the disc and fold dough over to meet other side and pinch together to seal. (Hint - brush on a bit of water with your finger where the dough meets to help form a tight seal). *note - If your seal is not tight or the disc is too thin, they will break apart in the water. Too thick and it will be overly chewy. Some of us are pros at this part and some of us are Andy, who pours wine for the chefs.
Boil pierogis in smaller batches of 5 to 7 at a time. Wait about 4 minutes more after they float to the top, then remove one at a time and place in a colander to drip dry (optional - sauté pierogis in salt pork drippings until golden brown after the boil)
Top with crispy salt pork and loads of sour cream.
*These are also incredibly delish for leftovers heated in a pan with butter and/or olive oil and fry to a golden crisp. Make sure to throw any salt pork leftovers in there if you have them!
Serve it up!
Does your family have a dumpling recipe of any origin you want to share? Send us a note!